News - 2014


September

13 Sep 2014. Male Lion. A young adult male lion was observed west of Twee Palms along the Uniab River (photos below by Ursula van Zyl). A positive Identification of the male was not possible due to the low-light conditions. The deaths of the only two adult male lions in the northern section of the population (Hoanib & Hoaruseb Rivers) during the past three months have created a vacuum that should attract young adult males. Several lionesses in both the Okongwe and Floodplain Prides have recently been in oestrous and they will be looking for adult males in order to mate and produce cubs. Simon van Zyl (of CPP) sponsored two new tires for the research vehicle. TrenTyre in Walvis Bay fitted the tires and also donated a steel rim as a third spare wheel. Fieldwork will hopefully continue soon

12 Sep 2014. "Geronimo". Xpl-79 “Geronimo” was observed by Boas Hambo near Otjomumbonde on the eastern edge of the Grootberg escarpment. Xpl-79 was in the company of an adult lioness, but it was not possible to identify her (photos below by B Hambo). This is an important observation as it is the first record of Xpl-79 this far east of the Palmwag tourism concession.

11 Sep 2014. Camera-trap Summary. During the past 6 years (since August 2008) camera-traps were mounted at 38 key locations in the study area to monitor the movements of lions (see map below). A total of 58,038 photographs have been collected. The images contain valuable information and a photographic database was developed. Below is a list of the species / category and the number of images. The data are available to the Ministry of Environment & Tourism or any other registered research/conservation project.

Category

No. of photos

Elephant

1324

Giraffe

6664

Oryx

12867

Springbok

6528

Hartmann's zebra

8265

Ostrich

2660

Kudu

193

Other species

1352

Vehicles/People

1986

Category

No. of photos

Lion

1356

Leopard

471

Cheetah

358

Brown hyaena

7663

Spotted hyaena

1050

Jackal

1839

Honey badger

131

Other cat species

238

Other carnivores

456

10 Sep 2014. HIT RADIO. Mr Wilfried Hahner for Hit Radio, Namibia, initiated a fundraising campaign associated with World Lion Day on 10 Aug 2014. The response from the general public in Namibia and abroad was amazing and a total of N$51,000 was raised in support of the Desert Lion Project. During a meeting and interview (see link) with Mr Hahner at the Hit Radio studios in Windhoek on 5 Sep 2014 the funds were presented to the Desert Lion Project. We thank Wilfried Hahner and all the supporters for this generous donation. The funds will be used to replace the satellite collar of the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) that was burnt (see 27 Aug 2014).

9 Sep 2014. Recent Developments. The Desert Lion Project travelled to Windhoek for a meeting with the Ministry of Environment & Tourism on 5 Sep 2014. The future of the Desert Lion Project was discussed with emphases on improved and more regular communications by the Desert Lion Project as well as the value of the Project to MET, the Skeleton Coast Park and the conservation / Human Wildlife Conflict efforts in the region. The Desert Lion Project will continue as soon as a research permit with new conditions that meet the needs and expectations of MET has been issued. The Desert Lion Project is committed to this process and trust that the research and monitoring will continue shortly.

1 Sep 2014. Desert Lion Project on Hold. The Desert Lion Conservation project has been put on hold temporarily to address a number of administrative and logistical problems.